Here are the wonderful people and ideas that won Next Challenge Grants this year. Apologies for the delay in sharing their stories.
The 2023 Next Challenge Grant will open for applications very soon.
Crossing the Alps on foot – Zoe Mitaut and Juliette Polle – £400
We are Juliette and Zoe, 22 and 24 years old and we both study agronomy and sustainable breeding in Montpellier in the south of France.
Both passionate about hiking, pastoral breeding and the job of shepherd, we have decided to start a project during our gap year combining our interests. We will cross the Alps by foot this summer, crossing 8 countries on over 1800 km, and we will go and meet shepherds and shepherdesses along the way. Our goal is to share portraits of people practicing pastoralism in the Alps, we will do so on our social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram @trans.alpina2022) as well as on a travelling exhibition that will combine pictures and audio and written extracts from our interviews.
We are extremely happy and grateful for this grant, it will help us during our hike and we couldn’t be more excited to start hiking !!
Climbing the smallest mountains in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland – Joy Coppell – £300
I’m Joy, 30, originally from Liverpool, I now call Scotland home. Previously a tour guide, I’m
currently working for the NHS supporting health & social care sites with Covid testing.
Everyone’s heard of Ben Nevis, most people know about the three peaks challenge, but I
realised as I was reading about other people’s mountaineering adventures for inspiration
that I could not tell you the difference between a big hill and a tiny mountain. After a bit of
internet sleuthing I found the smallest mountain in each country of the UK so this summer
I’m going to bikepack my way around and climb them. I think even the smallest mountain
presents an opportunity for a big adventure!
Winning the grant is the most amazing feeling, it’s not just about the cash, it’s the fact
someone else believes this is a great idea and that I can be the one to do it. When I first saw
the email, I terrified my poor dog with all the squealing and dancing.
Thank you so much Tim, and everyone else who donated to the fund!
I’ll be documenting the trip on Instagram: @joy.in.the.world
Walking Queensland’s volcanic rim – Sam Stevenson – £200
Sammy, 22. Climber and adventurer who makes do on a tight budget. From South East Queensland, Australia.
I am retracing (unsupported) the rim of an ancient volcano that encapsulates the whole of Brisbane, The Gold Coast and The South East Queensland region, where I live. I was lucky enough to grow up exploring this untouched Gondwana rainforest and now it’s time to link up the overlooked line of the scenic rim in one push to appreciate the past geography of a place that is now one of the fastest growing urban areas of Australia.
This many-day walk will take place in the second half of 2022. Some of the terrain is very unknown and the route previously unexplored so I can’t detail anymore about the distance or the time it will take because I don’t know – and that’s the best part!
I’m bloody grateful for this grant. It’s very endearing to see such generosity from a whole range of adventurers and institutions.I’m inspired to become a donor to the grant in the future myself. Thanks Tim and everyone else!
Fast-packing across the Hajar Mountains of Oman – Chloe Boxall – £200
Chloe Boxall: 48, Creative Marketing, aka Now on Earth Adventure Out
I am an outdoors-loving mum from the South East, planning to fastpack a traverse of the western Hajar Mountains of Oman late this year. This is the first adventure I have attempted on this scale, and in an environment I have never experienced before.
I’ll be following a relatively new route devised by John Edwards (hajarhiking.com) which encompasses a mixture of donkey tracks and narrow ‘man tracks’, requiring some scrambling and GPS navigation. Self-supported, travelling as light as possible, sending food ahead for collection en-route, I’ll be wild camping some nights, interspersed with small village hotel stops, for approx 2 weeks, as I run/hike/scramble… yomp my way across the awe-inspiring Hajar, and hopefully demonstrate that being a working mum doesn’t need to be a barrier to having an amazing adventure!
I’m incredibly grateful for the support of The Next Challenge, its a massive surprise and huge boost to my project and spirits. Now it feels really real!
Walking the Lycian Way – Jes & Pete Bailey – £200
We are Jes and Pete. Jes is a 30 year old crowdfunding consultant (so loves the fact that this grant is primarily created via crowdfunding!) And Pete is a 46 year old Gamification consultant. We both own our own businesses and this is Pete’s first proper break in 20 years. Also after this trip, Jes is closing up shop and becoming a primary school teacher (so this was our last chance to take a 2month adventure during term time!)
We live in Portslade, near Brighton.
We started going out just before the first UK lockdown and over the course of our relationship have hiked a lot (there wasn’t much else to do!) And we really started to love it! Jes used to live in Turkey (near one end of the Lycian Way) and it had always been her dream to hike it. Though due to suffering a trauma in 2018 thought this may never happen. Pete had never heard of the Lycian Way or done anything quite like this before so was more than happy to jump in and join Jes to conquer this adventure together.
The Lycian Way is a 540km-ish path (or set of paths) that links Turkish villages and ancient ruins never straying more than 15km from the sea. İt goes from Antalya to Fethiye. What is now a 4hour car journey on a highway is also 30 days of rocky terrain over mountains, through orange orchards, pine forests, coves and Byzantine city ruins.
We left on 28th March and finished our trip at the end of last month.
We were enjoying a rest day when Jes checked her emails and saw the amazing news that we had won. İt was one of those days when we didn’t feel we deserved to hear good news about our adventure because actually we’d barely walked anywhere that day. Then we remembered the week we had just had, the highs/lows, mountains we’d climbed and challenges we had faced and remembered oh yeh this İS an adventure!!! We couldn’t be more grateful or feel more supported. Thank you so much!!!!
Mountain biking across Scotland and back – Kay Emmerson – £100
I’m Kay Emmerson, 41, a special needs teaching assistant (outdoor learning) from East Devon.
Yahooo!! I can’t believe it – a huge thank you to Tim and everyone involved with the grant, I’m still stunned to have been chosen!
During lock down I saw a picture of a road gate ‘Through road to Ullapool – no vehicle access’ I was hooked and a plan soon unfolded – Bikepacking Scotland coast to coast!
I have fibromyalgia and want to show that even with complications, adventures are possible,
I love mountain biking and connecting people to nature, encouraging others and inspiring women to get out and follow their dreams. If I can do it, you can do it!
Walking the Upper Mustang trail in the Forbidden Kingdom of Nepal – Sajana Bhadel – £100
Hi, This is me Sajana Bhadel from Nepal (a land of mountains) a small village, Changunarayan Bhaktapur. I am an avid traveler, social entrepreneur and an authentic leader that empowering many girls through travel and providing them leadership.
I am heading to Upper Mustang, the forbidden kingdom in October 2022 as this place holds such a historical and cultural values and it was just opened for travelers in 1990. The forbidden valley is covered by walls and the people are living their by following their own strict traditions.
I am very much excited to explore the hidden beauty of Nepal as I am very much looking forward to discover myself as well as it was one of my dreams. And I am very thankful to Tim Moss for providing such an opportunity to help us to be alive and empowered through travel. Thank you so much.
Traversing Mount Tantalus – Athlyn Cathcart-Keays – £100
Athlyn, 30, writer, Canadian/British currently living and adventuring in unceded Sḵwx̱wú7mesh territory (British Columbia, Canada).
Just an hour north of Vancouver, Mount Tantalus looms over the small town of Squamish, at 2,600m. Tantalus is, well, tantalising, because despite being so close to town, it is inaccessible by road and cut off by the mighty Squamish River. The only way to get to the trailhead is by biking up gravel trails, boating across the river, and plodding up a trail to approximately 1,400m where the real “climb” begins. Depending on route choice, this adventure will include 3,600-5,000m of ascent over 36-45km.
With a partner and starting from my home at sea level, I plan to take on this tantalising traverse with a bivvy in the middle, and am very grateful for the support from the Next Challenge Grant, which will help with park fees, maps and food costs.
Recreating the Six-Day Walk Over All Roads, Lanes and Double Tracks Inside a Six-Mile-Wide Circle Centered on The Giant of Cerne Abbas – Ivan Pope – £100
This adventure has been in the planning for over ten years and, to be honest, it had become a fondly remembered overreach when I saw Tim’s grants and it sprang back fully formed.
To be honest, it’s a fairly well planned adventure, insofar as a randomised walk can be fully planned. I even had a paper map printed in 2010 which centers on the Long Man at Cerne Abbas – the site of my walk.
Now I have the grant I will have to actually do the thing – and that is all good. In the years since I first decided to use Richard Long’s 1975 artwork as an algorithm for my own my children have grown up and left and I have done both an MA and a PhD (just finishing).
Now is the time to return to serious art adventuring. Thank you Tim, your timing is perfect.
Walking the Bob Graham Round – Colin Foord – £100
My name is Colin Foord, I am 17 years old and from Leicestershire.
This summer, after my A-levels. I will be attempting to complete the Bob Graham Round in 3 days, solo and unsupported for a bit of an adventure. This will involve me travelling on foot for over 100km with 8,200m of elevation, and including most of the major mountains in the Lake District. This will be an incredible opportunity for me to push my boundaries physically and mentally and will require the learning of various skills prior to the trip.
A big thank you to everybody who has contributed. It will be an exciting opportunity or me.
Running past all 215 turbines at Whitelees Wind Farm – Eric Anderson – £100
I am Eric Anderson, a 58 year old security contractor from Glasgow, Scotland.
I am delighted to have been awarded the £100.00 grant, the first grant I have ever applied for. It was a great surprise to dig the email out my Spam folder !
My challenge is to run all 215 wind turbines, in numerical order, within Windless Turbine Farm to the South of Glasgow.
This challenge began as a spark of an idea whilst running in the wind farm. I used to live a few miles away near Fenwick.
I would sometimes run turbines 1 – 10, 1 – 20 or 1 – 30 and I thought “I wonder how long it would take to run the lot, all 215 turbines ?”
That was ten years ago. Every time I see a wind turbine Windlees jumps into my thoughts.
I’ve done a ‘guestimate’ of the distance and I reckon 215 – 230 km is a ball park figure. I want to cover the distance solo so I may do a little prep before crossng the start line e.g. caching some food and water near every 50th turbine.
25 wild camps before turning 25 – Eva Outram – £100
Hi I’m Eva, I’m 24 years old and from Leeds! I’m currently working as a project manager for an NHS Mental Health Trust but in my spare time I love hiking, climbing and going for trips around the UK in my van Atlas. I decided that in order to push myself out of my comfort zone in 2022, I would challenge myself to wild camp 25 times before my 25th birthday on September 25th (that’s a lot of 25’s so it seemed like a sign!).
I’m always looking for ways to get more adventure into my every day life and so throughout this challenge I’ll be camping midweek, in challenging conditions and often solo; all things I have previously never done.
I was over the moon to hear I was successful in receiving a grant from Tim as this will help me try camping grounds slightly further from home and hopefully inspire more people along the way. You can follow my journey at @eva__exploring on Instagram and through my blog at www.evaexploring.co.uk
Walking the kids to school then keeping on going (through the foothills of the Sierras) – Ali Makoutz – £100
Ali Makoutz, 49, nurse and mother of four lovely girls, from Reno Nevada, USA.
I have a very adventurous spirit but not much time to nurture it! Now that my youngest is in Kindergarten I have been dreaming about micro-adventures that I can do between drop-off and pick-time from school, and I am SO THRILLED to receive a grant to kick off my first one! I’m SO EXCITED for this motivation and support!
This first microadventure will be the circumnavigation of our home town of Reno NV at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It will start with a 6 mile roller skate, followed by city biking, ending with an epic run along the edge of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains back to the school gate.
I’m hoping to see our town from a different perspective, help promote the idea of adventure during the kiddie years, and show my four daughters that adventure truly is in the eye of the beholder!